By Kris Rhim
Today is Super Tuesday and this past weekend Springfield College held an event to help inform students on the upcoming voting process.
Representatives from all remaining Democratic candidates, minus Michael Bloomberg, came to campus to speak to the community and answer questions regarding their campaign efforts.
The representatives crowded the second floor of the Campus Union at 1 p.m. with tables filled with campaign posters and pamphlets. Of all the table decorations, Tulsi Gabbard’s lured the most students with colorful leis, along with pins that read, “Peace Love Tulsi.”
This event came as a part of the Office of Multicultural Affairs 20/20 vision series. This year, the office has registered voters, educated the campus on the current election and voting rights, and given information on the voting process in general.
Spearheaded by graduate students Charisse DelVecchio and Adam Jacobs, this event was put together because of their passion for politics and absence of student interest on campus.
“The students don’t tend to be that interested in politics here,” Jacobs said. “I think having events like this are important because conventional politics still play a role in this time period, and therefore, being aware of the primary process and being interested and invested in the candidates matters.”
After three hours of giving out information and talking to students about their respective campaigns, representatives moved to the Judd Presentation room for a forum followed by Q & A session.
Each campaign representative was given eight minutes at the beginning of the forum to talk more about their campaign. The audience then asked questions ranging from the candidate best poised to beat president Donald Trump, to the candidate that will best unify the country.
While the event was sparsely attended by students, there was one spirited debate between senior Justin Feinberg and a representative from the Bernie Sanders Campaign. Feinberg stood up and emotionally questioned support of Sanders’ radical ideas and specifically his idea of giving voting rights to those who are felons.
The senior was most frustrated with the fact that Sanders said during a democratic debate in April that even the convicted Boston Marathon Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be allowed to vote.
Feinberg also pointed out that he appreciated having this political event on campus, but was certain that this wouldn’t happen if there was a Republican primary.
“There’s no chance in hell they would have had the Republican candidates come here,” the senior said. “When Trump won the election, the school sent out an email asking if we needed help, support, or counseling, but if Hillary would have won we wouldn’t have gotten anything.”
While the turnout for this event was less than desired, Delvecchio still believes that it was purposeful and will continue to try and make the campus more politically conscious.
“It’s disappointing and its hurtful (that more people didn’t come to the event),” DelVecchio said. “At the same time, I do fundamentally believe that every person in this room has the capacity to start a fire, so even if it were just me and you in this room, I’d believe it was still worth it because I know that we as individuals have the power to make real change.”
Remember that today you can go out and vote and polls in Massachusetts will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Photo Courtesy of Kris Rhim